Gun Violence

Gun violence isn't a problem unique to South Florida, but it is South Florida's problem. Gun-related injuries are one of the leading causes of death in the state. And there are even more people who survive bullets.

WLRN is committed to telling the stories of what happens when people are harmed by guns. We do this through continuous coverage of issues and protagonists, as well as by long-term, special projects.

Some of our recent projects:

You can also see our continuous coverage below.

EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD

A crude video meme depicting President Donald Trump gunning down political foes and media organizations inside a church was shown this weekend during a far-right conference held at the president’s Doral resort, according to the New York Times.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Students in the Keys are "starting with hello" this week, part of a program developed by Sandy Hook Promise.

At Poinciana Elementary School in Key West, that work took the shape of 600 small bodies spelling out the word "hello" and a smile.

"At the elementary level, it's a lot about inclusion," said Ilinke Royse, a Spanish teacher at the school who runs the new SAVE Promise Club.

photography exhibit
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Editor’s Note:  In the Capitol building in Tallahassee, the Fourth Floor Rotunda is where state lawmakers enter their chambers every time they vote on the laws that affect Floridians. 

All this week in the space between the House and Senate chambers, six portraits are on display — the faces of people affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which happened two years ago Friday in Parkland.

In a state with a painful history of gun violence, Florida lawmakers swiftly condemned shootings that claimed 31 lives earlier this summer in Texas and Ohio.

Police say a man hijacked a postal truck and began shooting people at random in the Midland and Odessa areas of Texas on Saturday, leaving at least five people dead and 21 others injured.

The chaotic afternoon began with a traffic stop and ended with police shooting the gunman dead. Odessa Police Department officials say three law enforcement officers were shot: an Odessa police officer, a Midland police officer and a state police officer.

Everyone knows what a trumpet looks like: shiny brass. But the Instrument of Hope is mostly black.

Except for the lead pipe — the straight part that extends from the mouthpiece.

It's made of bullets.

"Bullets that were shot and fired out of a gun, cut up and pieced together," says Josh Landress, who made it.

Tucked away in the northwest corner of Wyoming is one of the largest gun collections in the world: The Cody Firearms Museum. But it's recently gotten a makeover, moving away away from being a monument to guns and toward being an educational space on gun safety, history and culture.

The museum is located at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West alongside four other museums and near the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park. So often, people just happen upon it. That was the case for Kim Cato and her family, visiting from Idaho.

Palm Beach Did Not Train School Guardians Properly, Gualtieri Says

Aug 22, 2019

A private security company that was paid thousands of dollars to train school “guardians” in Palm Beach County signed off on armed school security that did not meet statutory training requirements, according to the chairman of the state’s school safety panel.

Following the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Congress is considering a bill that would encourage states to pass red flag laws. Members of Congress may want to study Florida, where it's been in place for a year and a half.

Since it was adopted there, courts have approved some 2,500 risk protection orders. That's nearly five every day, more than any other state. The Florida law allows police, acting with court approval, to temporarily seize weapons from people deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others.

A new tool

Strong majorities of Americans from across the political spectrum support laws that allow family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove guns from a person who is seen to be a risk to themselves or others, according to a new APM Research Lab/Guns & America/Call To Mind survey.

Earlier this month the state’s financial impact estimating group struggled to define certain portions of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban assault weapons. Friday the group met again, and this time they invited the petition sponsor to help clarify portions of the proposal.  

At his first campaign rally after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump appeared to back away from supporting a possible expansion of background checks in favor of a push for more attention to mental illness.

"There is a mental illness problem that has to be dealt with. It's not the gun that pulls the trigger — it's the person holding the gun," Trump said to roars and a standing ovation from the Manchester, N.H., crowd.

A group of survivors and family members of those killed in a mass shooting at Florida nightclub have formed an organization to oppose the building of a private museum to honor the victims.

Members of the Community Coalition Against a Pulse Museum said the nightclub should be torn down and the nightclub's owner should not build a private museum. Any memorial should be constructed on public property, and any money raised for the museum should be channeled to survivors, they said.

Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET

On the presidential campaign trail in Iowa and on the op-ed page of The New York Times, former Vice President Joe Biden has made the case for going back to a nationwide ban on assault weapons and making it "even stronger."

Some have reacted with quizzical expressions: "Back?" "Stronger?"

WLRN is looking at the impact of children and teens killed by guns in South Florida through the voices of some of the people who are most affected.

You can find the entire series at wlrn.org/ownwords

Noricia Talabert was dropping friends off at home in Florida City when someone started shooting. The 17-year old, just a few months shy of her high school graduation, was killed.

Noricia had just celebrated her mom's birthday, Regina Talabert, the day before. 

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